A 40-year-old man has been arrested on suspicion of murdering a 28-year-old Santa Ana woman whose body was found in Newport Beach. According to a news report in The Daily Pilot, he did not enter a plea, and his arraignment has been delayed until the end of the month. Officials have not released information regarding the relationship between the man and the deceased woman. She was found under a bridge near East Coast Highway and Bayside Drive with a fatal gunshot wound.
The victim has a history of drug problems, including a felony charge for possession of a controlled substance from January. Before that, she pleaded guilty to misdemeanor prostitution and drunk driving charges. The suspect has a criminal history as well. The Daily Pilot reports that since 1995 he pleaded guilty to a number of charges including possession of a controlled substance, second-degree burglary and assault with a deadly weapon by force. He now faces murder charges and is being held in Santa Ana on $1 million bail.
Under California Penal Code 187: “Murder is the unlawful killing of a human being, or a fetus, with malice aforethought.” Homicide is the killing of another person whether lawful or unlawful. Murder is a form of homicide that is unlawful and done with malice. A conviction for first-degree murder can result in 25 years to life in a California state prison.
When fighting murder charges, the defense may review what actions took place, what evidence there is against the defendant, what the defendant’s intent was at the time of the incident and what specific act led to the death of the victim. In some cases, it is possible to have a murder charge reduced to manslaughter. Depending on the circumstances the defense attorney can successfully have the charges thrown out completely. It is important for anyone facing these types of serious charges to consider all of their options before pleading guilty or accepting a plea deal from the prosecution.
The skilled Orange County criminal defense attorneys at the Law Offices of David A. Stein have the experience to defend complex cases. If you or a loved one is facing murder charges in Orange County, please contact us at 949-445-0040 to discuss your case in a no-cost consultation.